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China’s fuel oil imports surges 10% to 2.93 million MT, highest since 2020

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China’s imports of fuel oil rose 10 per cent in April from a year earlier to 2.93 million metric tons. (Photo: Reuters)

China’s imports of fuel oil rose 10 per cent in April from a year earlier to 2.93 million metric tonnes, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday, which is the highest level since at least 2020 according to Reuters’ records.


The April imports were 48 per cent higher than in March, as traders brought in more shipments from Venezuela and Iran, according to trading sources familiar with the transactions.


The import volumes included purchases under ordinary trade, which are subject to import duty and consumption tax, as well as imports into bonded storage.


Imports into the bonded tanks reached 2.21 million tonnes, also the highest since at least 2020.


“Higher supplies from Venezuela due to the relaxation of sanctions contributed to the higher volumes. Refiners’ margins processing the heavier materials were also supportive,” said one Chinese trading executive.


Imports trended higher as some refiners ramped up purchases before prices strengthened further, amid a global rally in the high sulphur fuel oil market in the second quarter this year.


Meanwhile, fuel oil export volumes, mostly of low-sulphur fuel oil, in April were at 1.64 million tonnes, up 10 per cent from the corresponding month last year.


Exports rose from the same month last year as global bunker demand firmed amid geopolitical shipping disruptions this year.

The exports are measured mostly by sales from bonded storage for vessels plying international routes.


The tables below show China’s fuel oil exports and imports in metric tonnes. The exports section largely captures China’s low sulphur oil bunkering sales along its coast.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: May 20 2024 | 12:01 PM IST

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